Is Your Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes?

It may not be the primary function but drying your crockery and cutlery may in actual fact be more arduous for your dishwasher than getting them clean. Plates and glassware have multiple crevices that could pool dishwater stopping it from drying out, and as your dishwasher cools water condenses from the steam.

Different machines also make use of a variety of different approaches to dry your dishes. Some opt for a heating coil to warm the inside of the dishwasher and help the water to evaporate, some warm the water more near the end of the cycle, others make use of a fan, and some use a mix of all three. There are consequently a variety of explanations why your dishwasher could not be drying crockery and cutlery fully and a variety of options to rectify the situation.

Plastic is more difficult to dry than glass or ceramics as it cools down more quickly hindering the drying process, so it’s worth taking note whether the drying issue is related to the material rather than the machine.

If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be drying effectively you can call a dishwasher repair service or first use this troubleshooting list to figure out what the problem is and with any luck fix it.

Top Explanations Your Dishwasher Isn’t Drying Plates

Few things are more frustrating than an appliance that doesn’t work as it’s meant to, whether that’s a smartphone that really isn’t being that smart, a washing machine that’s churning out dirty clothes, or a dishwasher that is either not cleaning or drying your dishes. If you open the dishwasher to wet plates there are a few places you can look to help you figure out the issue.

Not all appliances are built to the same spec and you will find that some makes and models do a better job of drying your plates than others. But if you notice a change in how effectively your machine is working one of these areas may be the problem.

Check the Placement of Your Dishes

Sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with the machine. Before assuming the appliance is faulty you should look at how it has been stacked, ensuring it isn’t overloaded. It’s also worth noting that plastic items are more difficult to dry than metal, glass or ceramics.

Inspect The Rinse Aid Dispenser

Your appliance needs rinse aid to properly dry your plates therefore, if you’ve forgotten to top up or the rinse aid dispenser is faulty this can stop your plates coming out properly dry.

Visually inspect the rinse aid dispenser for cracks and ensure that there is rinse aid inside.

Check The Heating Coil

Without enough heat your dishes will not dry so a broken heating element might be the explanation your machine is not drying dishes. If your dishes don’t feel hot when they come out of the machine this can mean that the heating element is broken.

To inspect the heating element first disconnect the dishwasher, then find the heating coil, you may need the instruction manual for this, and check for continuity using a multimeter.

Have a Look at the Thermostat

The thermostat ensures your appliance doesn’t overheat, adjusting the temperature of the water and the drying part of the cycle. Therefore, if it’s broken this can result in your dishwasher not reaching a high enough temperature.

If the heating element appears to be working as it should but there’s still no heat, then the thermostat might be the problem. Again you can test this with the help of a multimeter.

Have a Look at The Fan and Vent

Many dishwashers will employ a drying fan and vent to remove the warm moist air out of the appliance. If either of these elements are faulty then the hot air will remain in the dishwasher preventing the crockery and cutlery from drying.

You can use your instruction manual to find out if your appliance uses a fan and locate it. Don’t forget to ensure the machine is disconnected before attempting to access the fan.

First look at the fan and vent to see if there is anything lodged that might stop it from operating as it should. If there is nothing obvious you can then test for continuity using a multimeter.

Ideas to Boost Drying Power

There are a number of things you can do to increase your appliances drying ability and prevent you needing to dry them by hand as little as possible.

  1. Don’t overfill the machine. Overfilling the machine stops the flow of both water and air decreasing the effectiveness of your machine when it comes to both washing and finishing your dishes. Although it’s appealing to try and cram everything in, your appliance will be more effective if you leave sufficient space so that plates are not touching.
  2. Use rinse aid. Some detergents include a rinse aid but even if the brand you use says it does, adding a separate rinse aid to the dishwasher can only improve matters. Rinse aid helps reduce spotting and gives your glassware in particular a streak-free shine but it also breaks the bond between water molecules and your dishes helping the water to run off them and consequently making them dry more quickly and evenly.
  3. Open the door at the end of the program. Some newer dishwashers have this as an automatic function, but many do not, thus, opening the door at the end of the program can help allow the water to evaporate thus stopping water condensing on the contents as the dishwasher cools down.
  4. Find out if your machine employs a heat feature and make sure it’s turned on. Setting a higher temperature will lead to improved drying times and you could be able to choose which points in the program you add more heat.
  5. Unload the lower level first. This is simply because cups and glasses that are upside down on the top shelf often have a concave bottom where water can pool. Emptying the bottom rack first stops you spilling this water onto the plates below.

If none of the above solves the problem it might be a good idea to call in the professionals or perhaps upgrade your dishwasher.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Not Turning On
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Leaking